The Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) have launched a new hillwalking info booklet.
The new A5-size FactFile gives anyone considering walking in Scotland's hills and mountains in summer for the first time a concise list of what they need to know, what gear they need to get and where they can start.
'It's primarily aimed at any beginner thinking of taking up hill walking in summer, whatever their age or previous experience in the outdoors' explains Kevin Howett, prolific climber and Mountaineering Development Officer at the MCofS. 'It should be particularly useful for young people and families with small children, and we hope it will be used by organisation such as the DofE.'
'The booklet was based on my experience with children and families who simply dabble and want to get into higher hill walking.'
The first chapter gives some practical advice on what clothing is suitable for hill walking and what else you need to put in your sack if you are thinking of going further than the local woodland.
A brief resume of what it's all about includes how to get started and the best way to progress, introduces walking festivals and explains what Munros and Corbetts actually are. A beginner's list of small hills close to the main cities and towns will help first timers make a start; these are perfect for families with small children. A list of some of the more user-freindly Corbetts and Munros allows you to take it higher once you are used to it all.
But going into the higher or more remote hills requires some knowledge of safety and the FactFile has advice on the essentials of navigation, maps, GPS, planning your route and mobile phone reception limitations.
There is also a list of some of the best general books about hill walking in Scotland; guide books for the Munros and Corbetts as well as the popular hills in the Loch Lomond National Park, and a host of websites to investigate, many of which have handy route description sections of their own (forthcoming on UKH).
The FactFile, which can be downloaded here, is the fourth in a series. The other booklets cover Sport Climbing, Adventure Climbing and Bouldering. All have had input to them from leading activists and climbing coaches in Scotland such as Dave MacLeod, John Watson and Neil McGeachy. Future titles may include Scrambling and Winter Walking/Mountaineering.
Hard copies of the FactFile will be distributed to the DofE and other youth groups across Scotland, and will be handed out at events and made available through the Active School Coordinators network.